Lecture for 1st year
medical students on 29th July
2000 by Professor Omar
1.3.3 FASTING (SAUM)
A. MERITS OF FASTING
The definition of fasting as prohibition
of entry of anything through any of the external body orifices is figurative but is true. Food and drink through the mouth
are not allowed. Smoking and other inhalants are also forbidden. Sexual relations are strictly forbidden. All these prohibitions
operate during the day-light hours because fasting is not obligatory at night.
FASTING IN THE QUR'AN: 2:183-185
SPECIAL MERITS OF RAMADHAN:
The month of Ramadhan has a special
standing amongst the rest of the months (MB hadith # 923). The Qur'an was revealed in Ramadhan. The first armed struggle in
Islam between faslehood and truth at Badr was in the month of Ramadhan. It is also the month of fasting.
REWARDS OF FASTING:
Fasting is an act of worship with
a lot of good, fadhl (MB hadith # 919,920) and reward, ajr (KS 324). The reward is more if the fasting is undertaken while on the path of Allah, sabiil al laah (KS 325).
The fasting person has two pleasures: when he breaks the fast and when he meets his Lord. If a person fasts the month of Ramadhan
in the true belief and expectation of reward from Allah, he is forgiven all the previous sins (KS 425).
B. BENEFITS OF FASTING
ADVANTAGES OF FASTING FOR THE INDIVIDUAL:
Fasting has a positive impact on
the individual. Fasting is ibadat that teaches self-control. A fasting person is able to control the food instinct, perhaps
the most powerful human instinct. The sense of self-control gained is extendable to other situations of temptation to evil
or when facing difficulties. Thus fasting is described as protection, al saum junnat (KS 325). Fasting helps in control of
the sex drive (KS 325, MB #927). Fasting is an exercise and training in patience (KS 324). It helps control of aggression.
A fasting person who is insulted does not respond in kind but just says 'I am fasting' (KS 334). Fasting helps control the
toungue; a fasting person who does not achieve this control gets not rewards from the fast (KS 334).
SOCIAL ADVANTAGES OF FASTING:
Fasting also has the further advantage
that it teaches compassion for the poor and the hungry in a practical way. The wealthy who fast taste of hunger and can appreciate
the cry for help from the poor and less privileged. Without this obligatory fasting the wealthy would never taste real hunger.
FASTING AND THE DAILY ROUTINES OF
When undertaken according to the
teachings of the prophet, fasting should not disturb the normal activities needed to work for feeding the family or undertaking
‘ibadat. It is offensive to treat the month of Ramadhan as a month of laziness.
Fasting has a benefitial impact on the daily routine of life. It is surprising to many people to discover that their daily
life routines are tightly controlled by the pattern of meals. A fasting person feels a sense of liberation in Ramadhan when
the routines of daily life are changed. Ramadhan is therefore a time of stock-taking when a person can look back in his her
life when he or she is in a different mood.
PHYSIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF FASTING:
Fasting does not make the body suffer
to attain spiritual benefit. The concept of ascetism in this sense is alien to the Islamic creed. There is no spiritual advantage
in punishing or persecuting the body or causing it any harm. The rights of the body must be respected in fasting (MB hadith
# 961). The Law provides guidelines on fasting for those who may suffer from physiological imbalances. The sick, the young,
the travellers, pregnant women, menstruating women, breast-feeding mothers, and any other persons for whom fasting is an extra
burden are excused from fasting or are asked to fast at a different time when they are physiologically competent. The law
also provides for protection of conjugal rights of spouses (MB hadith #963)
FASTING IN HEALTH PROMOTION AND DISEASE
Fasting also has health benefits.
It purifies the body, al saum zakat al jism (KS 325). There are several medical advantages of fasting. Abundant epidemiological
evidence has proved that diet is a co-factor in heart diseases and cancer. People or communities with excessive intake of
certain types of foods are at increased risk for these diseases. Tobacco is linked to lung and oral cancers. In all such cases
there is weak will-power to control appetite for food or tobacco. Fasting teaches appetite control. Its advantages should
not be looked at only as deprivation of food for a limited time. The focus should be looked on the long-term benefits that
a fasting person gets from strengthening will-power and stopping eating or smoking even if they feel like to eat more.
C. TYPES OF FASTING
Fasting the whole month of Ramadhan
6 days in shawaal (KS 327)
9th of Dhil al Hajj (KS
9th and 10th
3 days in every lunar month (KS 327):
13th, 14th, and 15th
Fasting every Monday and Thursday
The …… months, ashhur
Days of the 2 eids (KS 327)
Continous fasting, wisaal (KS 330)
Life-time fasting, saum al dahar
The second half of sha'abaan
Purposely planning to fast on Friday,
Saturday, or Sunday
FASTING OF THE PROPHETS:
The fasting of Nuh was all his life
except the days of eid (KS 328)
The fasting of Daud was fasting on
alternate days (KS 330)
D. ETIQUETTE and REGULATIONS OF FASTING
ETIQUETTE OF FASTING (MB #925)
Suhuur: There is blessing , barakat,
in suhuur (KS 331).
Fasting of Ramadhan is obligatory
and is one of the pillars of Islam (KS 325). Fasting is obligatory for adult, sane, and healthy Muslims.
START AND END OF RAMADHAN:
Fasting takes place in the month
of Ramadhan. It is part of the new civilisation ushered in by Islam that Muslims have to determine accurately the start and
end of Ramadhan and have to watch the calendar carefully. The start and end of the Ramadhan is determined by the sight of
the crescent (KS 326). Testimony of one reliable witness is sufficient to establish the sight of the crescent. It is forbidden
to fast a day of doubt, siyam yawm al shakk. Non-obligatory fasting is forbidden in the second half of the month of sha'abaan
to avoid mix-up with the month of Ramadhan (KS 326, 327).
THE INTENTION TO FAST:
The niyyat for non-obligatory fasting
must be made before
PILLARS OF FASTING:
CONDITIONS OF FASTING:
NULLIFIERS OF FASTING:
Eating and Drinking
Use of snuff or tobacco in the nose
Putting water in the ear until it
reaches the ear-drum
Any penetration by any object or
material into the body cavity. Intra-muscular and intra-venous injections are excepted
Sexual intercourse: Vaginal coitus
or any other sexual act that leads to orgasm nullifies the fasting. Sexual intercourse, al
jimau, in Ramadhan is a serious offense with a punitive punishment (KS 332). The punishment imposed on the man and not
the woman is to fast 60 consecutive days for each day nullified or feeding 60 poor people, masakin. Non-coital relations with the wife are allowed but with strict limitations that depend on the age (KS
Swallowing saliva and phlegm is a
matter of controversy among the scholars
Insanity or loss of consciousness
even if temporary
ACTIVITIES THAT DO NOT NULLIFY THE
Wet sexual dream (KS 333)
Cupping, a hijaam (KS 333). We have
to consider the patient, al mahjuum, and the cupper, al haajim, separately.
Tepid sponging for a fever patient,
tabarrud (KS 333)
THE SUNNAT OF FASTING, MANDUUBAAT
Dua at break-fast (KS 331).
delaying suhuur, ta'akhiir al suhuur
Hastening iftar, ta'ajiil al iftar
Generosity, al juud
Joining kindred relations, silat
Recitation of the Qur'an, tilawat
Serving breakfast for those fasting.
Feeding the fasting person: The reward of the person giving breakfast is equivalent to that of one who fasts, al taim ka al
saim (KS 334).
Major ablution before salat al fajr
Avoiding ghaibat, kadhb, and fahsh
Delaying unnecessary medical treatment
FASTING OF THE WIFE:
The wife must get her husband's permission
for non-obligatory fasting. Such permission is not needed for the fasting of Ramadhan (KS 333).
FASTING OF CHILDREN: (KS 334):
Children are told to fast from the
age of 7 years.
EATING IN RAMADHAN:
If a person deliberately breaks the
Ramadhan fast with no valid excuse he must fast two consecutive months (KS 332) for each day. Excessive hunger or thirst that
are feared to harm health are a valid excuse to break the fast and make up later. If a person eats or drinks in forgetfulness
then all they have to do is to complete the day and the day is considered valid (KS 333). A non-obligatory fast can be broken
at any time but must be redone, qadha (KS 333).
RIGHTS OF THE GUEST:
A guest does not fast non-obligatory
fasts except with the permission of the host (KS 330)
E. EXEMPTIONS IN FASTING
PERMISSION TO BREAK THE FAST WITHOUT
The following are allowed to break
the fast but must make up later. The make-up must be before the next Ramadhan. If the make-up is delayed until the next Ramadhan
comes, kaffarat becomes due by feeding the poor.
sick, al maridh (KS 328, KS 334)
traveller, al musafir(KS 331). The fast of a traveller who chooses not to take
the exemption is valid
Pregnant woman, al hublah (KS 334) if the fasting is a possible risk to the mother's health
Breast-feeding woman or nursing woman,
al murdhi' (KS 334) if fasting is a risk to the health of the mother
Menstruating woman, al haidhah (KS 334): The exemption is obligatory. Any fasting by a mestruating woman in invalid.
Woman in post-partum bleeding, nifaas
(). The exemption is obligatory. Any fasting undertaken in the post-partum
period is invalid.
PERMISSION TO BREAK FASTING WITH
The following are allowed to break
the fast and pay kaffarat:
The elderly, al shaikh (KS 334)
Terminally ill patient
Pregnant woman, al hublah (KS 334) if fasting is a risk to the health of the fetus
Breast-feeding woman or nursing woman,
al murdhi' (KS 334) if fasting is a risk to the health of the baby
1.3.4 GIVING (INFAQ/ SADAQAT)
The concept of sadaqat in Islam is
very comprehensive. It covers all good actions however small they may be. You can be charitable by saying a good word, refraining
from saying a bad word, by giving money, by helping others with your hands, and by thinking good of others. Sadaqat is closely
related to iman (23:1-4) and taqwa (2:2-3).
Generosity is encouraged while miserliness is discouraged (MB # 729).
There are several types of sadaqat.
Sadaqat can be obligatory or voluntary. It can be open or private; the private being better (2:271). The prophet described
the characteristics of the best sadaqat (MB #716).
B. PURPOSES OF SADAQAT
Sadaqat has three main purposes:
(a) improve the giver because it is atonement for sins (9:104) (b) cleanse wealth (p 531 9:103, 9:1-3) (c) improve society.
All three can be achieved from one single act of charity.
BENEFITS FOR THE GIVER
The giver has to part with something
considered dear. He or she must struggle against the human tendency to be covetous and selfish, al shuhhu. Those who give overcome the acquisitive instinct that leads humans to accumulate wealth by all means,
fair or foul, and never get satified. The more one gives he or she becomes a fuller human being. Thus giving becomes part
of human liberation.
BENEFITS FOR THE RECIPIENT:
The recipient has needs relieved.
BENEFITS FOR THE COMMUNITY:
Sadaqat leads to a mutually supportive
community. Sadaqat thus creates psychological security. Individuals in the community know that if there is a need some-ne
will help them. This feeling of security covers both the wealthy and the deprived. The wealthy today may become the needy
of tomorrow. Sadaqat is a system of social mutual support. Those who have share with those who do not have. This increases
social cohesivenenss and the feeling of brotherhood.
C. ZAKAT AL
The obligatory sadaqat, zakat, is a unique institution in social support and social welfare. The giver is obliged by law to give.
The receiver does not feel that he is inferior because he is being helped because what is given to him is on instructions
from Allah. The zakat that the poor receive is a right that they have in the wealth of the rich (51:19, KS 261). If the institution
of zakat was operating fully as is required by law, there would be no destitution in the ummat today. Zakat is distributed
within the geographical area in which it was collected.
REGULATIONS, ahkaam zakaat al maal
Zakat al maal is paid from wealth if there is a quorum held for 1 year.
Zakatable property: metals, paper
money, trade goods, crops, and livestock.
Beneficiaries: The recipients of
zakat al maal were explained in the Qur'an () and the sunnat (KS
261). The 8 categories of recipients are: (a) The poor, al faqir, defined as one who does not have enough wealth to live on,
can not work or can not find work. (b) The destitute, maskin, is one who is short of money. (c) Zakat workers, al amilun alaiha.
(d) Those whose hearts are being reconciles, muallafat al quluub. (e) Slaves who can buy their freedom using the zakat money.
(f) The indebted, al ghamirun. (g) Those struggling in the way of Allah, fi sabil llaahi. (h) Travelers who need money, ibn
Obligation: Zakat al maal is due
from all Muslims (men and women; children and adult) who have held the quorum, nisaab, for 1 year. The legal guardian of a
child or an insane person is obliged to pay zakat from their respective wealth. Zakat is no obligatory for non-Muslims. Debts
do not remove the obligation of zakat. Zakat can be paid in advance.
D. ZAKAT AL FITR
al fitr(KS 202) is a fixed amount paid on behalf of each member of the family
at the end of the fasting month of Ramadhan. It plays a very important social and psychological function. The less priviledged
are assured that they can take part in the festivities at the end of the fasting month. Zakat results in growth and increase
of wealth. It cleanses wealth. It is a pillar of Islam (KS 257). Withholding zakat is a great sin (KS 258).
E. NON-OBLIGATORY SADAQAT, SADAQAT
This is recommended all the time.
There is special merit in sadaqat in Ramadhan.
Sadaqat can be given to the righteous,
Sadaqat is given from the best of
Sadaqat should not be given from
wealth of doubtful source
Sadaqat, unlike zakat, can be given
to the non-Muslim
Reminding the recipient of sadaqat,
al mann,is unlawful
1.3.5 PILGRIMAGE, HAJJ
Hajj is a response to the call of
Allah (p. 315 22:27-30). Hajj is obligatory only on adult saneMuslims who are financially and physically capable (p. 315 3:97). Factors considered in judging financial
ability are: having enough funds to pay the expenses of travelling, food, and accomodation while leaving enough funds to maintain
the family for the duration of the pilgrimage. A debtor is not obliged to perform hajj. Among factors considered in judging
physical ability are: security of the road, health, a mahram for a woman, or two trusted women travelling together. There
are obligations that take precedence over hajj like jihad, caring for parents and the family. The obligation is only one pilgrimage
in a life-time. Any additional ones are nafilat. Proxy hajj can be performed on behalf of another person. The one performing
proxy hajj must have discharged his hajj obligation before.
B. SIGNIFICANCE OF HAJJ
Hajj is a very important act of worship.
A well perfoemed hajj that Allah accepts guarantees entry into heaven (MB # 772, 773).
is a unique institution found in no other religion or community. It involves worship of Allah but at the same time fulfills
social and ummatic functions. In hajj Muslims, men and women, come from all the
world to worship together. This reminds them of the power and majesty of the creator to whom all people turn. It also reminds
each individual that he or she is not alone but is part of a world-wide community ofbelievers. In hajj all pilgrims do the same rites again a reminder of the
unity of humanity in worship. The male pilgrims are all dressed in the same way. The rich and the poor, the powerful and the
weak, the famous and the unknown are all reminded that in front of Allah they are all the same. Hajj is also an occasion for social interaction. Trade is allowed mainly for this purpose. Thus hajj is a big international conference of the ummat and if its significance
were well appreciated the ummat would be more united and more cohesive.
in unfortunately not a political and economic forum for the ummat at the moment.
If an attempt were made to make it the ummatic annual summit that it should be,
the existing schisms in the ummat would predominate over the unity and the ‘ibadat would not be carried out well. We have to be careful in hajj
not to undertake activities that will distract from the main purpose of worship.
C. THE CITY OF MAKKAH
The city of Makka
has a special spiritual significance for the Muslim (3:96, 2:125-127, -37,
5:97, ). It is the religious capital of the ummat and perhaps of humanity.
It has the holy kaaba, a sacred house, al bayt al haram, that allMuslims face in their prayers (p 214-215 2:125-127,
2:144, 2:149-150, 2:158, 2:191, 2:196, 2:219, 3:96, 5:2, 8:34-35, 9:7, 9:19, 9:28, 14:35-37, 22:25-26, 22:29, 22:33, 28:57,29:67, 48:25, 48:27, 95:3, 106:3). It is a city of peace that is open to all Muslims.
The visitor and resident have the same equal rights (p. 315 22:25), a situation that is not found in other places on earth.
As part of its holiness, hunting is not allowed in the city (p 315 5:95-96).
D. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RITES OF HAJJ
has prescribed rites (p. 315 2:196-203). Each of the hajj rites has its spiritual
and social significance.
Circumbulation of the kaaba (tawaaf) signifies unity of the community of believers. This community has both time
and place dimensions. Believers have always been coming to go around the house from time immemorial and will do so until the
end of the world. Believers come from all parts of the world. This community of believers also includes angels in the high
heavens who circumbulate bayt al ma’mur which is in heaven directly above
the kaaba. A worshipper at the kaaba is therefore part of this big community of worshippers. This gives encouragement and
Safa and marwa are one of the signs
of Allah, sha'air al laah (p. 314 2:158). The trot between safa and marwa (al sa’ay) signifies strength and hope in times of adversity
as did the mother of Ismail who was left in Makka with no water or provisions and was running between the two hillocks in
fear and hope until Allah delivered her and her son fromdanger
Standing in the plain of Arafat (wuquf arafat) signifies the unity and equality of humanity. People of all colours
and nationalities gather in one plain with only one purpose, the worship of Allah.
Stone-throwing (ram’yu a; jamarat) signifies the determination not to succumb to the temptations of shaitan. This symbolism
commemorates the victory of the patriarch of the believers Ibrahim (PBUH) over shaitan
who tried to distract him from executing Allah’s commands.
E. REGULATIONS OF HAJJ, ahkaam al
conditions for validity (shurut al hajj), forbidden things (mawaniu al hajj), and nullifiers
(mubtilaat al hajj). Every intending pilgrim must know these things in order to
perform hajj correctly and fully.
PILLARS (ARKAN AL HAJJ):
The pillars of hajj and umrah are:
ihram; cicumbulation, tawaaf; trot between safa and marwa, sa'ay; shaving the hair, al halaq. Hajj has the additional pillars
of: standing in Arafat, stoning the jamaraat, sleeping at Muzdalifat, sleeping at Mina, and the farewell circumbulation. Leaving
out any pillar is expiated by slaughtering or fasting.
Three modes of hajj and umrah: There
are three ways of perfominh hajj with umrah. Ifraad is when all the rites of hajj are completed before starting the rites
of umrah. Tamatu'u is when the rites of umrah are completed before starting the rites of hajj. Iqraan is when hajj and umrah
are performed simultaneously. For those choosing tamatu'u and iqraan there is a fidyat of slaughtering a goat or fasting 10
days, 3 in Makka and 7 after return to the home country.
Preliminaries of ihram: The pilgrim
washes, ghusl. If there is no enough water, ablution, wudhu, is sufficient. The following hygienic measures are also undertaken:
shaving pubic hair, plucking the under-pits, clipping the moustache, clipping the nails. All old clothes are removed. The
men wear only the rida and izaar. Women can wear their ordinary sewn clothes but can not veil their face. The body can be
perfumed but not the clothes.
Prohibitions of muhrim: When a person
enters the state of ihram, he or she is now called a muhrim. The following are prohibited for a muhrim: sewn garments, usingperfume, removing nails or hair, sexual intercourse or foreplay, and hunting. Violation
of any of these requires kaffarat which is slaughtering, feeding the poor, or fasting for three days. Any marriage transaction
while in a state of ihram is invalid.
In the haram: The pilgrim prays 2
rakaats before entering the haram. Talbiat is continued all the time except when making tawaf or the trot between safa and
marwa. Circumbulation of the kaaba is 7 times with 2 rakaats being offerred at the end. The trot between safa and marwa is
7 times starting at safa.
Mina, Muzdalifat, and Arafat: On
the morning of 8th of dhul al hijja the pilgrims move to Mina. They pray dhuhr, asr, maghrib, and isha at Mina.
They sleep at Mina and pray fajr. After fajr they move to Arafat where they spend the day. After maghrib they start moving
from Arafat to Muzdalifat where they spend the night. They wake upo and pray fajr after which they pick pebbles that they
will throw at the jamaraat in Mina. They them move to Mina where they stone the jamaraat and slaughter. They then cut a bit
of hair from both men and women signifying partial release from ihram.
Return to Makka:From Mina they then move to Makka where they perform tawaf al ifadhat and are then completely released
from ihram. They perform the farewell circumbulation, tawaaf al widai, before leaving Makka. A menstruating woman may leave
Makka without performing the farewell circumbulation.
Visit of Madina: it is recommended
to visit the Prophet's mosque in Madina.